Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has returned to his old franchise Kolkata Knight Riders as “Mentor” ahead of the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League. Until now, Gambhir had been serving as the mentor of Lucknow Super Giants.
Welcome home, mentor @GautamGambhir! 🤗
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) November 22, 2023
All those fans who have been watching IPL since its commencement in 2008 know that Kolkata Knight Riders struggled a lot in the starting seasons of IPL. In the first three years of IPL, KKR finished at 6th, 8th and 6th position respectively. In 2011, the management of KKR decided to brought Gautam Gambhir into the team as the captain. That decision of Gambhir’s leadership changed KKR’s fortunes. Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014 and established a winning attitude within his team. That’s the reason why Gambhir is still regarded as one of the most successful captains in the history of IPL. But suddenly what happened in 2017 that Gambhir decided to put an end to his seven-year stint at the franchise. Fans are quite anxious to know that Why did Gautam Gambhir leave KKR in 2018.
When did Gambhir leave KKR?
Gautam Gambhir was the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders between 2011 and 2017 and guided the franchise to the IPL title twice. He played his last season for KKR in IPL 2017. In IPL 2018 auctions, Delhi Daredevils purchased Gambhir.
Why did Gautam Gambhir leave KKR in 2018?
Kolkata Knight Riders did not retain nor bid for their captain Gautam Gambhir in the auctions of IPL 2018. That was shocking for the fans of Gambhir and KKR. It was rumored that due to his slow and inconsistent batting, the KKR management decided to drop him from their plans. However, they were all rumors and actual reason was clarified by both Gambhir and KKR.
The decision of leaving KKR was the decision of Gautam himself. In the beginning of IPL, Gambhir played for Delhi Daredevils for 3 years from 2008 to 2010. The Indian batsman told the management of KKR in advance that his heart was still with Delhi and he wanted to play for Delhi. KKR Camp understood the player’s emotions and respected his decision to leave. That’s why KKR did not retain him so that he can be a part of Delhi Daredevils.
KKR CEO Venky Mysore himself clarified the situation regarding Gambhir during the IPL auction.
“Just to clarify, he was very much in our plans for the auction. But he had a conversation with us before, and felt that there may be a different challenge, we didn’t know what it was. He had requested us to refrain from bidding for him or using Right to Match. We’re sorry to see him go after seven great years, but I think he’ll be fantastic for Delhi. Best wishes to him.”
In IPL 2018 auctions, Gambhir was put under the marquee group at a base price of Rs 2 crore. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab also bid for him but it was Gambhir’s home team Delhi who finally bought him for a price of Rs 2.8 crore.
True, that I’ve stepped down from DD captaincy. Just to clarify it was my call, nothing from the management or coaching staff. I may not be leading from the front but I will be the last man standing for @DelhiDaredevils. No individual bigger than d team. Very much a #DilDIlli
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 25, 2018
However his homecoming as captain of Delhi Daredevils in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) did not go well. Delhi were facing one loss after another in the initial stages of the tournament. Due to those devastating performance of the team, Gambhir decided to stand down from captaincy. He took that decision when were lying at the bottom of the points table with five losses from six games. Young batsman Shreyas Iyer was given the captaincy of Delhi and since then the franchise has improved a lot and reached new heights in the tournament.